Carey to join AFL Hall of Fame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carey to join AFL Hall of Fame

By Roger Vaughan 02/06/2010 04:40:32 PM Comments (0)

The rebuilding of Wayne Carey's reputation continues on Thursday night when he joins the AFL Hall Of Fame.

Inductees are not announced until the annual Hall Of Fame dinner, but it emerged last month that Carey will finally receive the honour.

The two-time North Melbourne premiership captain is arguably the best player of the modern era and is high among the game's all-time greats.

But his must-publicised off-field troubles meant Carey had to wait when he first became eligible for induction in 2008.

It is understood that Carey will be among six inductees, while the Hall Of Fame will also elevate a member to official legend status.

Under induction rules, a candidate's character is one of the criteria for selection and this is the most controversial feature of the Hall Of Fame.

There was also a delay before Gary Ablett was inducted in 2005, owing to the drug-related death of a young woman in his company three years earlier.

A string of off-field incidents dogged Carey during and after his playing career.

He resigned from North Melbourne in shame before the start of the 2002 season when it emerged he was having an affair with Kelli Stevens, the wife of team-mate Anthony Stevens.

Carey played 244 games for North between 1989 and 2001, leading them to the 1996 and `99 premierships.

He returned to the AFL in 2003 and played 28 games for Adelaide over two seasons before a neck injury forced him to retire.

At his best, Carey was a formidable centre half-forward and a consistent match winner for the `Roos.

When Denis Pagan became North coach in 1993, he appointed Carey captain even though the key forward was not yet 22, making him the second-youngest skipper in the game's history.

North used the highly-effective "Pagan's Paddock" tactic to isolate Carey and his immediate opponent in the forward 50m area.

He kicked 671 goals for North, a club record, and was named in seven All-Australian teams - three of them as captain.

Over the last few years, Carey has admitted to drug and alcohol abuse.

He was charged with assaulting his girlfriend in Miami three years ago.

Carey was convicted and fined last year over the assault of two police officers at his Port Melbourne flat in 2008.

He was inducted into North Melbourne's Hall of Fame last year, using the occasion to publicly apologise for mistakes made in his personal life.

News of Carey's upcoming induction has received some criticism, but he said last month it would be "a huge honour".

"If it was to happen, at least we won't be talking about it again next year and for me that's a positive," he said.

There has also been controversy about who should be the next legend, after an unsuccessful campaign for former Collingwood captain and media personality Lou Richards to receive the rare honour.

In the wake of a messy saga over Richards, the Hall Of Fame rules were clarified so that only playing or coaching achievements will count towards someone becoming an official legend.

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